12. 1Q84 (Book 1), Haruki Murakami (April 12)
I’ve had this book since we went to visit our friend in Belgium in August, 2013. Mark decided he wanted to read it, so he started it during that trip, and I had to wait. Then he put it down, and I was in the middle of other things, so I had to wait some more.
I figured, though, that it would be the perfect book (trilogy, really) to bring on vacation, since I had that ‘three weeks, three books’ idea. It wasn’t something I ever wanted to bring on a train, as it is THREE books in one and over 1,300 pages to carry in my purse. However, I’m doing that at the moment for Book 3.
I got through Book 1 between the plane ride to Australia and some nights spent reading for an hour or two after dark when I couldn’t get to sleep immediately.
This is my second Murakami story, and I definitely prefer it to Underground. The only thing that bothers me is the slow-ish pace of the story, the constant need to relate each character’s ENTIRE inner monologue, and finally, the constant need, by basically every character, to ask confirmation questions. This last one seems like an extended form of exposition, but maybe it’s some part of the Japanese culture or psyche that I just don’t understand or know about yet.
The negative things being said, I really enjoyed this first part of the story, and there was no question about continuing to read the second and third parts. I’m not sure yet if I agree with the ‘maddening brilliance’ review, but I’ll reserve judgement until I reach the end of part 3.
This story has cured me of my phobia of ‘taking huge books on the train to read’. I can now confidently say that I’m not bothered by holding a heavy book while standing on the train. Because that WAS something I didn’t want to try to do at first. Lessons learned.